Now Jacob's well was there. Jesus therefore, being wearied with His journey, sat thus on the well: and it was about the sixth hour. John 4:6
Jesus positions Himself where He knows He will be found. Today was the day that this Woman’s life would change forever. This was not a chance meeting. It was a divine appointment. And isn’t that just like God to pick a day to introduce Himself to us in such a profound way that from that day forth, nothing will ever be the same again? What did the scripture say,
"And He must needs go through Samaria." John 4:4. This was her day. Wow!
I wish I knew her name. Calling her, the Samarian Woman does seem quite fair. After all, she is a real person and would be instrumental in changing so many lives. We could give her a name; let's call her Olivia.
Olivia knew about God, but maybe events in her life had marred her picture of Him. Raised in the Samaritan culture, what did she believe? The Samaritans believed in God, but they also worshipped idols. They were half Jews and half Gentiles. History reports that after the children of Israel returned from Babylonian captivity to Jerusalem, the Samaritans objected to them rebuilding the temple of God. To prevent or hinder their progress, the Samaritans threaten and harass them until Nehemiah comes on the scene. (Nehemiah 6:1-14).
This long-established not so loving, hated relationship between the Jews and the Samaritans is what Jesus encounters as He and His disciples travel through her country. It also explains Olivia’s reaction to seeing Jesus sitting at the well and Him asking her for water. (John 4:7).
One of my favorite authors made the following statement.
In the East, water was called “the gift of God.” To offer a drink to the thirsty traveler was held to be a duty so sacred that the Arabs of the desert would go out of their way to perform it. The hatred between Jews and Samaritans prevented the woman from offering kindness to Jesus, but the Saviour was seeking to find the key to this heart, and with the tact born of divine love, He asked, not offered, a favor. The offer of kindness might have been rejected, but trust awakens trust. The King of heaven came to this outcast soul, asking for a service at her hands. He who made the ocean, who controls the waters of the great deep, who opened the springs and channels of the earth, rested from His weariness at Jacob's well, and was dependent upon a stranger's kindness for even the gift of a drink of water. Ellen White, Desire of Ages. Pp 183.4.
Let’s pause for a moment.
After reading Olivia’s initial encounter with Jesus, I started wondering if, in my quest to start this ministry, I, too, have been holding onto old hurts, old presumptions, and old fears about people and how much this has gotten in the way of the Lord using me for His purpose. What do we fear as women starting a business/ministry?
We fear success. We fear failure. We fear our past. We fear the future. We fear the present. We fear to connect. We fear exposure. We fear judgment. We fear to trust. We fear the journey.
The truth is that we can’t be everything to everyone… However, I believe the Holy Spirit does tap us on the shoulder and says that woman, man, boy, or girl sitting on the well is thirsty for living water. Go and give them something to drink. It may be in the form of a smile or a kind word.
I believe it is essential that we check in daily with the Holy Spirit to help us answer the following questions:
Did I fail to help someone along the way today?
Did I leave someone sitting at the well, retrieved my water, and walked away?
Did I fell to offer a smile, a drink of water, or an encouraging word?
Have I been so self-absorbed in doing the right things for my business that I have lost or maybe never had insight into others’ pain?
Let’s face it; we tell ourselves how we want to bless others and share our gifts and talents. But do we? Do we really? Have we allowed our motives to lay bare before God? And let Him answer the following questions:
What is my true motive behind giving someone living water?
Is my generosity questionable? Sincere?
Don’t get me wrong… I, too, have told the Lord the same thing. But lately, He has been checking my motives. I am reevaluating them through the Holy Spirit to determine how genuine I am.
Let’s face it again… Our pain will either blind us to the pain someone is carrying or heighten our senses to the pain around us. Where do you stand?
Don’t forget; He speaks to Olivia first by making a request. One that she could have refused. However, this was her day to respond to the Holy Spirit and converse with the One who has the power to rewrite her story.